Original Feature / December 5, 2016
The following review was first published in late 2016, during the previous incarnation of the MECHA CATALOGUE. The content has since been updated to fit the current style and standard of the blog while still maintaining the same context of the time the review was written.
Product Line / Omni Class
Scale & Class / 1/22 Scale Collectible Figure
Manufacturer / Comicave Studios
Release Date / 2016
Official SRP / $400
Comicave Studios is a relative newcomer to the high-end collectible market and is quite aggressive on expanding their portfolio beyond their 1/12 scale Iron Man figures. Following the footsteps of ThreeA and Hot Toys, Comicave Studios also got the Transformers license to produce high-end collectibles of its diverse characters. And so, this is their first (and only) foray with the brand and released as part of the Omni Class line. This is the Omni Class 1/22 Optimus Prime (Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Going with the Transformers: Age of Extinction design of Optimus Prime for a figure like this is an excellent choice in my opinion. It is a design nearly impossible to release as a transformable figure without any kibble and would be more practical as a non-transforming figure. For basics, the Optimus Prime towers at 15 inches tall and weighs 1.6 kg, quite a substantial collectible piece. Omni Class figures normally clock at 75% diecast content though Optimus Prime does so at 50% due to the larger size. Would that translate to a more stable figure? More on that later.
First and foremost, I just wanted to emphasize how I really like the packaging of these Omni Class figures. Whether it’s the 1/12 Iron Man stuff or Optimus Prime over here, they all use the same style. The black four-panel box that folds out and reveals the contents while the instructions are printed on the spines. Both the figure itself and its multiple accessories are held in by thick foam and covered by a clear plastic sheet for protection when handling. Comicave Studios gets major props in the packaging department, simple yet very practical and elegant.
Optimus Prime doesn’t really come with a whole lot of weapons outside of the sword and shield pair seen in the movie. For accessories, he comes with multiple pairs of hands, including fixed pose fists and weapon-holding ones, and one pair with articulated digits. He also comes with a full-featured face by default but those wanting a more classic look can use the replacement face plate which is attached via magnets.
Before going any further, no one can deny that this Optimus Prime figure just looks superb. From the proportions to the paint applications and weathering, they’ve almost reached a level that almost rivals releases from Three A. Given the complicated and all-over-the-place nature of these “Bayformers” designs, Comicave Studios was able to nail it with this figure. Oh, and it also has LED light up eyes.
As someone handling mostly twelfth-scale figures, I really can’t expect the same level of handling with a figure of this scale, given its weight and potential stability issues. That said, Optimus Prime is advertised to have over 60-points of articulation, mostly with ball joints, including the head and wrists. Arms can move via a butterfly shoulder joint for full forward rotation and outward movement. The torso can do a forward crunch complemented by a limited swivel at the waist.
Using mostly ball joints on a figure with 50% diecast content is a double-edged sword. For one, you can maximize the range of motion with ball joints. On the other hand, they are prone to loosening especially if the plastic tolerances don’t line up. Using ratchets or detents would have made the figure more stable so don’t expect Optimus Prime to do highflyers. The same ball joint issue also applies to some armor panels, chief being the skirt armor pieces that pop out so often. It also doesn’t help that these armor pieces tend to hit each other and can make the posing process more cumbersome. My copy also likes to pop the right arm from the shoulder socket.
That said, Optimus Prime looks really amazing and heroic once in a pose and holding his weapons. Fortunately, they didn’t go with the Three A route and included weapon-holding hands instead of relying on articulated ones when wielding his sword and shield. The diecast content makes standing the figure easier, especially if those ball joints cooperate. Put him on a shelf and he’ll easily catch the attention of onlookers.
Overall, Comicave Studios Omni Class 1/22 Optimus Prime (Age of Extinction) is really less of an action figure and more of a poseable statue and you have to give them props for trying something outside of their 1/12 offerings. It is far from perfect but can easily make a visual impact wherever you choose to display it. Heck when doing the photo shoot for this figure, children around were curious and wanted to take pictures themselves. Does it justify the $400 price tag? As of revisiting this review, there are more options for those wanting larger scale Transformers figures. Comicave Studios hasn’t released another figure of a similar scale either but if you’re an Optimus Prime collector, this one definitely warrants consideration.